Friday's Global Climate Strikes Are Absolutely Massive

Climate strikers in Kabul. Afghanistan.
Photo: AP

With the sunrise comes resistance. As the sun makes its way to the Western Hemisphere, the day is just beginning in the U.S. However, the day is already come and gone in other parts of the world. And Friday has seen a successful Global Climate Strike so far. Hundreds of thousands of people in more than 150 countries have already taken part in this historic event.

Pacific Island nations such as Kiribati and Tonga were the first to start their days and kick off the global actions, which is fitting given that these islands are ground zero for climate change. Sea level rise from climate change is set to make many of these islands uninhabitable in the next 40 years.

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Places like New Zealand and Australia followed, which saw what some have called “record-breaking crowds.” In Australia, alone, organizers estimate about 300,000 people turned out. The fact that more than 2,000 companies in the country allowed staff to take off to participate certainly helped. From there, the energy moved west to Asia, Europe, Africa, and now North and South America.

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Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old badass who’s in New York for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, has thrust the strike movement into the international spotlight under the banner of Friday for Futures. She began skipping school in August 2018 every Friday to protest outside the Swedish Parliament. She wanted more action from world leaders on climate change. Her bold behavior rapidly spread around the world, and its latest manifestation is what we’re seeing today.

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The world saw similar climate strikes in March and May, but the pressure is building with more urgency as world leaders gather next week to talk climate change at the UN. The kids want to make their message clear: The time to act on the climate crisis is now. In the U.S., teens are becoming more afraid and more angry about climate change. After all, the situation is growing more urgent. Instead of ignoring these feelings, the teens are putting them to work.

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Here are some photos from around the world, encapsulating what people power—and, more importantly, teen power—looks like around the world. Some days feel a little hopeless. Today is not one of those days. ¡Viva la revolución!

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Australia

Melbourne, Australia
Photo: Getty
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Melbourne, Australia
Photo: Getty
Sydney, Australia
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Tokyo, Japan

Photo: Getty
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Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty
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Berlin, Germany

Photo: Getty
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Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty
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Kabul, Afghanistan

Photo: AP
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Manila, Philippines

Photo: AP
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Photo: AP
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Kenya

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India

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About the author

Yessenia Funes

I mostly write about how environmental policy and climate change intersect with race and class though I occasionally write about animals, science, and art, too. We all need an escape, right?

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